Bad Breath

Bad breath is usually caused by anaerobic bacteria that normally live inside the tongue surface and throat. These bacteria are useful and help digest protein from food, saliva or mucus, blood and diseased or rejected tissue. Under certain conditions, the bacteria begin to break down protein particularly hard. Proteins consist of amino acids. Two of these amino acids (cysteine and methionine) contain a lot of sulphur molecules.

This is usually the cause of bad breath: as soon as the beneficial bacteria come into contact with these components, the unpleasant and foul-smelling sulphur is released from the back of the tongue and throat as hydrogen sulphides, mercaptans and other foul-smelling substances. These substances are also called Volatile Sulfur Compounds = VSC (volatile sulfur compounds).


Where does bad breath come from

These bacteria are by no means harmful and infectious. The oral flora of every person contains the same group of bacteria in the mouth. One thing is certain: bad breath is not contagious, not even when kissing! So the bacteria are part of the normal oral flora, i.e. you cannot simply remove them completely from the mouth area - not by constantly cleaning the tongue, not with antibiotics, not with mouthwashes that claim to keep bacteria away from the tongue.

The only proven effective way to fight bad breath and attack its true cause is to attack the bacteria's ability to form sulfur-containing metabolites and convert the sulfur-containing compounds already formed into neutral-smelling and neutral-tasting organic salts.

When you talk about bacteria, you need to know the following about these bacteria:

  • They are anaerobic bacteria (such as Fusobacteria, Actinomycetes etc).
  • They don't like oxygen: So they feel most comfortable where there is no or only little oxygen.
  • Therefore they do not live on the surface of the tongue: they live between the fine fibres of the tongue, the so-called papillae of the tongue!

By-products of these anaerobic bacteria are sulphur-containing metabolic products. As already mentioned, every human being needs these bacteria for digestion.

Unfortunately, and for reasons as yet unknown, a higher number of these bacteria is found in some people. This is why they suffer from bad breath.
There are different theories that attribute this to hormonal fluctuations, to drugs (usually antibiotics or sulfonamides, which can cause a disturbance of the oral flora) or even to hereditary causes. But what we know today is that bad breath occurs equally in men and women.

Bad breath develops here

Other causes of bad breath

Dry mouth

Now and then everyone has a dry mouth. Often the cause can be the following:
Prescription drugs (usually prescribed for high blood pressure or depression), antihistamine (e.g. in nose drops)

Spirits and alcoholic mouthwash

Less saliva is produced when the mouth is dry. However, saliva naturally contains oxygen and ensures a healthy and fresh mouth. The anaerobic bacteria produce more sulphur compounds with little or no oxygen. If less saliva is produced, there is less oxygen and there is an "anaerobic condition" - ideal for the bacteria to produce more malodorous and acidic/bitter tasting substances. Here, drinking a lot, sucking pastilles or chewing gum is the main way to stimulate saliva production. Chewing gums such as kauX®, pastilles and other products containing high doses of xylitol are particularly suitable.

Post-nasal dripping

Proteins are known to have amino acids as building blocks. In some people with problems in the nose (e.g. allergies), mucus runs down the throat and covers the back of the tongue and throat - exactly where the bacteria live. Since mucus consists of protein strands, this is a good prerequisite for the bacteria to break down these proteins into bad smelling and sour tasting sulphurous substances. Strongly acting nose drops (antihistamines) do not help here, because the drying out effect of these substances creates another problem. Here atemfrisch® with hdO2 ensures that the odour and taste problem can be combated.

Certain foods

Anaerobic bacteria love proteins, and certain foods have plenty of them: milk, cheese and most other dairy products (the fat content is not important, by the way). If you have a lactose intolerance, do not eat or drink these foods! Your body cannot fully digest these foods, so they are available to bacteria for a long time. Fish has a lot of protein. If you like to eat a lot of fish, this can logically worsen your bad breath problem. Coffee (with or without caffeine) contains a lot of acid and in an acidic environment bacteria can multiply more quickly. (In principle this applies to every type of acid in food).

What works in atemfrisch®?

In principle, the entire composition of the new remedy against bad breath, atemfrisch® mouthwash, is designed to prevent bad breath.
hdO2 is the most active ingredient. By supplying oxygen, it prevents anaerobic bacteria from forming malodorous sulphides and mercaptans. The end product is the formation of sulphate, which has neither smell nor taste.